At the age of 17, standing 6'3", weighing in between 195 and 205 pounds, he is a college student at the College of Southern Nevada and a first round draft pick prospect for the 2010 MLB Draft.
He left high school two years early and received his GED in December 2009 in order to pursue the path that had been placed before him. Speculation is that he is guaranteed a minimum of a $10 million signing bonus and it could bypass Strasburg's more than $15 million (which currently holds the shock and awe). He will get all that money, but he will not be old enough to make decisions alone.
Meet Bryce Harper, the next household name in baseball. Due to his age, his parents will accompany him until he becomes of age. At 17, does he know how much money he will be getting? Does he understand how mentally challenging the media attention and hype will be?
Harper is primarily a catcher with a clocked 96 mile per hour pitch, an experienced third baseman, and shortstop. A utility player? Nope, probably an outfielder.
Get the confused look off of your face and let me explain. Bryce has been termed to be the best power hitter. That is where his strength is and why he is heavily sought after. In an effort to save his arm and power hitting ability, he will be drafted at the most likely position of right field. Amazing? Wait until you see the numbers.
In 2008, Harper had a .599 batting average with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs in 38 games for Las Vegas High School.
In 2009, he had a .626 batting average with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs. Sports Illustrated referred to him as the LeBron James of Baseball. He was the first high school sophomore to be named a first team All-American by Baseball America.
That same year, he hit a 502 foot home run during the International Power Show Case at Tropicana Field. The record for that field is dually noted. Although regulation states season play is with a wood bat, this home run was hit with a metal composite bat. Most articles do not say he was using a DeMarini CF 4.
Through 62 games in his 2010 Junior College season, Harper is batting .442/.524/.986 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 88 runs scored, 29 home runs, 89 RBIs, 18 SBs, and a 1.510 OPS.
In the semifinals of the 2010 NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) World Series, Harper went 6-for-7 with five RBIs and hit for the cycle. The next day, in a doubleheader, he went 2-for-5 with a three-run double in the first game, and in the second game went 6-for-6 with four home runs, a triple, and a double.
Harper negates the adage of becoming one of those players to lose the "power hitting" ability when changing from metal to wood bats. His parents are doing a great job in keeping him from the media. He was not allowed to partake in many of the interviews you see on him.
He has a line of batting and instructional videos on YouTube. I promise you it would be worth the venture over to check it out. Some of them date back to when he was nine or 10 years old. They are a must see for those who are in league ball or the more advanced divisions
As much as I enjoyed watching the Howell boy from Alabama through the last few years make a name for himself, this one has been even more exciting.
Awards-excerpt copies from Wikipedia.
2009 Baseball America High School Player of the Year
2009 Ryan Howard Award (International High School Power Showcase Home Run Derby)
2008 1st Team All Sunrise Division Catcher
2008 1st Team All State Catcher
2008 Player of the Year North-East Division
2008 Batting Average Leader for the state of Nevada
2008 All World Team
2008 All Area Code Team
2007 TBS 14u All American Team
2007 TBS 14u Player of the Year
2006 TBS 13u All American Team
2005 TBS 12u All American Team
2005 NYB All American Team
Many say that he is the best they have ever seen. He is compared to some of the greatest in the game like Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez. The Child Prodigy will find out his fate at the MLB draft on June 7, 2010 .
So put him on your radar if he is not there already. I promise you that you will see history
made and changed.
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